Tag Archives: commitment

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work from home

5 Tips To Help You Work From Home

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There are some people who just realized their dream opportunity. Largely, this sudden shift may feel more like a nightmare to many people. Are you prepared to work from home?

More or less I have worked from home for the past 14 years. I’ve had part-time offices out of my home and spent many hours onsite at client locations. However, when I’m grinding out new content, writing, studying, and preparing for deliveries, I’m often at home.

Work From Home

First, let me say that there are pros and cons. I spent over 20 years working in conventional workplace settings. I definitely recognize both sides of this story.

Solitude can drive you mad. Yes, it seems kinda cool at first, but after some time you miss the interactions and sometimes the climate of a face-to-face team. There is also no one immediately available to bounce ideas off of, except for your plant or a family pet.

Let me jump right in. Here are five tips to help you get started, stay productive, and not feel like you’re totally alone.

  1. Set a schedule. Planning to do things when you get around to it is probably a bad idea. If you’re planning to do some wash, run the vacuum, or get a snack for the kids you are best to plan around a schedule. A schedule keeps you focused during high energy times of the day and helps you avoid time sucking distractions. Productivity is going to be important so set a schedule.
  2. Prepare a work space. A home office is ideal. However, you can also use your kitchen island, a coffee table, or a stand up desk by using your ironing board. Your best work is going to occur if you can establish a place to setup and keep it somewhat permanent. Using your laptop on your recliner may work for processing some email but your best work is going to occur from a little bit more rigid work space.
  3. Block out distractions. It may feel pretty cool to have the news on the TV, or be jamming to music so loud that the neighbors can hear it, but these are largely distractions. While everyone is different and some will think that they work better with these distractions I encourage you to think twice. Every time you pause to think about something else, something different, or throw in the next load of laundry you are wasting time and more importantly energy.
  4. Take some breaks. A break is not necessarily a distraction. It can be an energizer. It can also be very healthy both emotionally and physically. Your best-case scenario is to plan your breaks. Set a timer and forget about it until you are alerted. You could take break every hour or every two or three. They are important and don’t skip too many.
  5. Teamwork. If you you’re working remotely with a team a great energizer is to plan for team calls or video chats. One way is to plan a call for every two hours. The team quickly assembles at the appropriate time and in a round-robin approach you take turns talking about what you accomplished since you last spoke and what you plan to accomplish in the next time slot. This call should last no more than 15 minutes. It is a quick huddle, and energizer, and a great way to hold each other accountable.

Working from home is just that, it’s work. Yes, you may be able to dress down a bit and yes, you may have some additional flexibility but there is still plenty of work to be done so don’t coast.

-DEG

You may also be interested in the Managing Remote Work Teams or Master Your Work From Home Environment webinar(s).

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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urgent work

Urgent Work Is a Different Priority

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How do you decide what is going to get done? Are you doing urgent work or just work that feels like it should get done?

One decision you make almost every day is closely connected to what happens next.

What are your priorities?

Your Priorities

Will you brush your teeth first, get dressed, or take a shower? What is your priority?

Will you grab a coffee at work, report to your work area, or discuss the latest news with a colleague? What is most important? What is urgent?

There are lots of ways to determine priorities. Often it is driven by some form of need. However, the need is not always the same as what you or others want.

You also likely factor in the concept of what you should do.

I should…

Go to the gym after work.

Tidy up this mess before doing anything else.

Finish the report before the meeting on Wednesday.

When you consider the should factor, you may discover that should isn’t always the most important or urgent. Should is often considered a nicety.

In the workplace, or in your community, you’re often challenged by trying to decide on the right things to work on. What is the most urgent?

Will finishing the report early help my coworkers? Does that rise to the level of urgency?

Is picking up trash in the park more urgent than working on a campaign to help shelter the homeless?

Urgent Work

People often decide on what they’ll work on next by the urgency that they perceive about the importance of the task.

Individual perceptions which are often driven by group dynamics, peer pressure, and even the media affect your sense of urgency.

The next time you want something to happen you may want to consider how others may perceive the sense of urgency. Urgent work always seems to take a priority.

It’s not the squeaky wheel, but it may be the sneaky wheel.

Understand your priorities.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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changing now

Changing Now Has Never Been Harder or Easier

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What if you were forced to change right now? Changing now, in the moment, at this place in time requires a special effort.

Do you feel like the World around you is changing? It is easy to get people to agree that everything is changing. Are you changing or staying about the same?

Look at a picture of you from half of your lifetime ago. You’ll notice change.

The process of change, which is otherwise known as transition is an emotional reaction to the feeling you experience during change.

It is a struggle because part of you wants to stay exactly the same and part of you either feels forced or desires to do something different.

There are emotions involved. It could be anything from denial, to fear, to shock and disbelief. You might feel panicked, angry, or scared. Most of all, you probably feel stressed about a change you didn’t see coming, or one you feel challenged to adopt.

Controlling your emotions and staying cool under pressure are just a small part of navigating change. Recognizing the pinch of the stress you’re feeling sometimes prompts panic. Yet likely, panic will not result in any kind of positive outcome.

Changing Now

Remember the thought of that picture from half a lifetime ago?

Considering that there was not a significant life altering event that changed your physical appearance you probably barely felt the change on day-to-day basis.

You were and have been, just living. Making your way through each day, week, month, and year.

Changing now is really about tiny milestones consistently applied across time.

Sure, big leaps are sometimes preferred and sometimes they are even required. Mostly though, it is a day-to-day application across time.

Every decision you make, every conscious thought about change, it feels like the right path in that moment you decide. It’s the best choice. What happens next isn’t always up to you.

Many decisions or choices aren’t easy. Change is sometimes difficult.

Changing now has never been easier.

-DEG

Looking for change? Need some help with navigation? It is exactly why I wrote this book:

Pivot and accelerate

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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building super teams

Building Super Teams Creates More Magic

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Is it all a matter of effort? Are you building super teams or only just going through the motions?

Will the time and commitment make a difference?

Creating Magic

Major events require a lot of effort. The Superbowl is a good example.

Planning across many months, perhaps even a year or more. People steering the arrangements, the motivation, and creating something that looks nearly perfect.

For many involved it is a one-shot deal. A once-in-a-lifetime, that special moment with millions of people watching.

The stakes are high, yet so are the chances for success. Not because it is easy but because the effort across time makes it look easy.

The investment yields a high return.

The same is often true for the well-manicured landscape, the wedding cake, or the handcrafted wooden boat.

It is all a culmination of effort, skill, and commitment put together across time.

It is definitely not for everyone. That is part of what makes it appear magical.

Building Super Teams

There are very few overnight successes, yet many appear as such.

Where and how you spend your time will produce an outcome.

When it comes to your workplace, your team, or the business that you own are you working smart and hard towards perfecting your craft?

Is what you produce a Mona Lisa or just a paint-by-number?

The effort and time you put in will have a significant impact on what comes out.

Is what you’re working towards today going to be worthy? Will it be super?

Magic often appears with great effort across time.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace impact

Workplace Impact Requires a Commitment

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Are you interested in workplace impact? Not just occupying a place and receiving a check, true impact?

Many businesses measure their bottom line by simply comparing revenues and expenses. They can show you, “Here are our sales and our expenses.”

Simple enough.

Yet simple enough doesn’t define the organization. The culture defines the organization and most culture is developed across time and through commitment.

The new hire wonders if they’ll make it through the first day, then they’re happy about the first week, the first month, and so on. What is their goal? Six months, two years, or are they planning to just go with the flow?

How will the organization measure the employee’s success? Is there a cultural fit, mutual respect, and engagement?

Is this person making an impact? They probably know what they cost.

Impact requires a commitment.

Workplace Impact

Your background and expertise aren’t built in a couple of months. You don’t learn everything required for a high school or college education in six weeks.

When you want to really make an impact, you’re going to have to view it across time. Sure, there will be moments of impact. What led to those moments was the result a longer-term commitment.

Businesses with the best cultures aren’t measuring people by what they cost. People are not an expense. They are an investment.

It brings two words to the front of my mind: Human Capital.

Yet, you can’t just say it. You need to live it.

Daily. Across time.

For the employer and the employee.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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decision commitment

Decision Commitment and Deciding What to Do

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Sometimes the best thing to happen next is to decide that you are going to decide. Decision commitment can be a stumbling block. Are you ready to leap over the obstacles?

Often it is not about a lack of options, it is about a lack of commitment to decisions.

If you’re in sales, you’ll want the customer to decide. Your goal is to close the deal. You’re in the business of helping other people decide.

Selling It

Isn’t everyone in sales? Can you sell to yourself?

Sometimes we have to sell it to ourselves. We have to take the big leap. Create the contract and stay committed.

In my consulting practice, the biggest obstacle I often see for clients is their inability to decide. They want something different, bigger, or better. They can see it, but their next decision means commitment and they may not be ready for it.

Decision Commitment

It feels so final. You contemplate over and over about the pros and cons? Will it work or will it crash and burn in disaster?

At every entry point you have a chance to decide that you will decide.

Here is the thing. It doesn’t have to be final. Your choice can be fluid. You can ebb and flow, make adjustments, take a break, or start again. If the number is too steep, adjust. The timeline is too fast (or slow), adjust it.

Procrastination and a lack of making a decision is often a crusher of momentum and certainly productivity. You know time is money. The inability to make a choice may be costing much more than the risk you’re contemplating.

Trust Yourself

A decision often starts with trusting yourself.

Is that something you can feel confident about? Do you trust yourself?

Your next decision may be a big one. The heat of the moment may not be the best time to decide, and sometimes a decision to do nothing is still a good decision.

You must decide.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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stretch goals

Stretch Goals and a Commitment to Achieve

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In your career, for yourself, or for your team, do you have stretch goals? Are goals something your boss decides? Do you have input? Thinking of goals is there anything you would do differently?

Winning is a great thing, it also creates new expectations.

Winning Achievements

In sports, when you win the opening game there is an expectation that you’ll win the next one too. The pressure and commitment shifts, it changes, it gets more serious.

When you close the sale, it is expected that you’ll do it again. Next time it may be bigger. Next week more, and the week after even more.

Winning streaks change things. They change the mindset of the team, the competitors, and the results. Tackling the giant is always a challenge, doubt enters the minds of those seeking to dismantle the hero. The win streak seems unstoppable.

We’ve seen it in football, in soccer, and even in motorsports. The longer the streak goes on, the more confidence that comes through.

Stretch Goals

In the workplace people are sometimes irritated with stretch goals. The salesperson thinks, “How much more can I be expected to achieve?”

The same is often true for the C-Suite reporting to the board of directors. The numbers and expectations are lofty, the likelihood of success initially feels slim.

Yet building on one success after another. Bringing in each small win adds up. There is momentum to accumulation. Actual versus goal, the gap closes, the stretch shrinks, the streak broadens.

Confidence is built one step at a time.

Commitment starts at the beginning and accelerates as the gap narrows.

A stretch too far to reach is more probable for those who quit before they begin.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personal changes

Making Personal Changes for a Better Workplace

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Many people want to make personal changes for a better workplace. Are you one of them? We often spend a lot of time trying to figure the how. Yet sometimes, we lose sight of the why.

Have you ever questioned, “Am I in the right spot?” You know, are you in the right relationships, hanging with the right people, or actively employed in the right company?

We may even question if we studied the right stuff in school or if we are living in the right city or state. Has this, ever been you?

Everyone’s circumstance is situational. It is like the FAE, our actions and behaviors may best be judged by considering the situation, not labeling the person.

Personal Changes

Making personal changes can be challenging. We often think a lot about the new place we want to be, yet we often skip the concept of what we will give up.

If you want to give up a bad habit, it can be simple. Quit smoking, or quit eating donuts. You know what we have to give up.

What if you just want a better outlook for your future?

Did I marry the right person?

Did I choose the right career path?

Am I working for the right company?

Sometimes the best thing to give up is your doubt.

Instead of continuously questioning where you are at, instead be convinced that you are in the right place, right now, at this time. Commit to your place, give up the doubt.

It changes everything.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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daylight savings

In Your Workplace Daylight Savings Still Requires You

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People may ask, “Do we move the time forward or do we turn back the clocks?” Confused they may say, “Are we losing an hour or gaining an hour?” Are people asking you about the effects of daylight savings time?

I have two grandmother clocks in my home. They don’t run on electricity or batteries. You must pull the chains to raise the weights every week. The pendulum must swing and then the hands of the clock spin.

Telling time then is not accomplished through a digital display. There are not buttons to push or indicator lights.

Most importantly, the time setting in these clocks is accomplished manually. You can’t tap “Settings,” and then, “Date & Time,” and toggle, “Automatic.”

An Excuse

Surely, as the official time change occurs during the weekend people will show up at the correct time on Monday.

No, not everyone. A few will find it a convenient excuse to be running late.

Although we are in a digital age. An age where most of our cellular phones and computer devices will automatically spring forward, people still have something to do.

In your workplace, the people are going to need to spring forward. They are going to need to bring the energy, put in the effort, and bring the change to life. It won’t happen automatically. It’s not a digital setting.

Daylight Savings

Our digital age is part of society. Things happen for us and we barely even notice. It is all so automatic. Beyond that it is thoughtless, no real effort required. Follow the time on your phone or computer and you’re set.

Our lives benefit from technology. Things making life easier, simpler, and requiring less background knowledge to navigate.

On the human side of daylights savings, we still have a job to do. Spring forward will only happen when we pull the chains, raise the weights, and turn the hands.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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productivity fact

Productivity Fact or Perfection Myth, Which Is It?

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Productivity is important for every workplace. The idea is that efficiency drives profit. Are your daily habits driven by the productivity fact or the perfection myth?

What is the difference and where are you spending, or wasting your time?

Perfection Myth

People spend a lot of time and money on perfection.

There are hours spent on perfecting the product. It happens with goods and it happens with services.

There are hours and hours of fine tuning and making it just right. Hours are spent on the meetings, the waiting for decisions, and on rejected work.

In extreme cases, work is produced that is never used. It is only discarded, no longer needed, or locked in the closet being viewed as too risky for release.

We do it with our written communication to the CEO, the board of directors, or for the project proposal.

We may spend 80 percent of our time proofing, rewriting, and tweaking. In the end, much of that 80 percent of time was wasted because the initial 20 percent of time fulfilled 80 percent or more of the requirement.

All of this lends credibility to the idea that perfection is a myth. Perfection means more time wasted, less time producing.

Productivity Fact

What about the productivity fact?

Kittens and puppies are picked every day not because they are perfect, but because people aren’t judging for perfection.

Your best friend probably isn’t perfect. Your favorite book isn’t perfect. The car you drive, nope, probably not perfect.

Your house may be clean, or the lawn may be cut, but neither are probably perfect.

The work that we do, the product we produce or service we deliver, is probably good enough long before it is perfect. Sometimes everything beyond good enough, is productivity wasted. Time spent that we’ll never recover.

Perfect is often a self-developed illusion. One that we can’t live up to, and one that wastes our time.

Productivity fact is much more important than the perfection myth.

Do great work, but keep moving. The clock is always ticking.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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